Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Edible Estates: One Book, One Idea

As we're thinking about renovation, design and decor, we're perusing a lot of books. We don't have time for full reports on all of them, but we're trying to share at least one stand-out idea per book. This week, we're looking at Edible Estates: Attack on the front lawn. A project by Fritz Haeg. Like most of the books in the 1 book, 1 idea series, I found it at the library.

Back in the day, a green grassy lawn was a sign of privilege. It announced to the world that you had so much land (and money) that you could afford not to grow food in the area surrounding your house. But now, it's cool to use your real estate in a way that really counts. Besides, ever since reading Made by Hand, I've been thinking about what it would be like to rip up a front lawn and replace the grass with something more practical, like vegetables.

The one idea from this book is apparent upon opening the cover: edible estates are not confined to a single region. In fact the book includes reports from California to Pennsylvania. It also includes a project across the pond in London and one right here in Chicago.

In fact, as I'm paging through the book, it occurs to me there is a family not far from our new house that seems to be doing something very similar to what's outlined in this book. The house has new owners and they are in the midst of a dramatic front yard makeover. I lalways ook forward to passing their house and getting a peek at what's exciting and new. Maybe some day I will work up the nerve to introduce myself.

This book looks like a handy resource with instructions, checklists and planning tips, and, of course, the all-important stories from the field.

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